chocolate may help you live longer by preserving telomere length

Tons of recent research has proven that dark chocolate is good for your heart and your blood sugar. New research is showing that it may prevent aging and lengthen lifespan!

The leading theory of aging is the telomere shortening theory. Telomeres (Greek for the part at the end) are protective DNA and protein complexes that cap the end of chromosomes and help them to remain stable. But each time a cell replicates, the telomere gets shorter until the cell finally dies. So, telomeres are like shortening timelines that measure cellular age. Telomere shortening weakens proper replication of DNA, which results in cellular aging. Telomere shortness is a marker of aging, disease and premature death. So, preserving the length of your telomeres is the key to longevity.

And guess what dark chocolate can do?!

A just published study separated 660 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 into three groups: those who ate no chocolate, those who ate less than two servings a week and those who ate two or more servings a week.

It may seem surprising that the more chocolate they ate, the lower their body mass index. But, as we explain in our book Chocolate: Superfood of the Gods, several studies now show that, not only is dark chocolate not fattening like everybody thinks, it actually helps you lose weight.

What was really new in this study was the finding that the people who ate two or more servings a week of dark chocolate had longer telomeres. Longer telomeres mean longer lifespan. When the adolescence in this study ate two or more servings a day of chocolate, their telomeres were a significant .26 standard deviations longer.

So, the really good news is that if you want to live longer, you should eat more chocolate. There are other ways of reserving telomere length too. Vitamin D and exercise have both been shown to preserve telomere length. Lifestyle changes that include switching to a vegetarian diet, walking, stress management and social support have actually been shown to lengthen telomeres.

So, eat chocolate and enjoy staying young!

Curr Dev Nutr 2019;3(Suppl 1). pii: nzz028.P01-018-19

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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